Egypt bans pro-Rabia footballer for 3 months

Abdel-Zaher will be barred from playing in Egypt for three months and banned from playing with Egypt's national team for one year.

Egypt bans pro-Rabia footballer for 3 months
World Bulletin / News Desk 

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on Thursday temporarily banned Al-Ahly striker Ahmed Abdel-Zaher for three months for flashing the now-famous "Rabia salute" during last month's African Champions League final.

Abdel-Zaher will be barred from playing in Egypt for three months and banned from playing with Egypt's national team for one year, EFA spokesman Azmi Megahed told Anadolu Agency.

The player has 15 days to appeal the ban, the spokesman added.

After scoring in the game's 77th minute, Abdel-Zaher flashed the iconic hand-sign, which commemorates the hundreds of protesters killed in the August 14 dispersal of a sit-in staged by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

Abdel-Zaher's goal secured the team's 2-0 victory over South Africa's Orlando Pirates, giving Al-Ahly a record eighth African title.

Al-Ahly responded to the move by putting the striker up for sale and banning him from playing in the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be held in Morocco later this month.

Abdel-Zaher was not the first Egyptian athlete to flash the controversial hand-sign.

Last month, the Egyptian Kung Fu Federation barred player Mohamed Youssef from contesting the 12th World Wushu Championships in Malaysia.

Youssef had earlier flashed the Rabaa salute – and worn a bright yellow t-shirt emblazoned with the Rabaa symbol – while receiving a gold medal at an international championship in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

Days later, another Egyptian kung fu player, Hisham Abdel-Hamid, flashed the Rabaa sign at a training session for the Egyptian national team in Malaysia.

The kung fu federation, however, did not take any punitive action against Abdel-Hamid since he did not make the gesture during an official game or on the winners' podium.

Last Mod: 05 Aralık 2013, 17:37
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